Streisand: A Biography

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Streisand tells the story-behind-the-story for the first time, revealing the inner demons that have driven her career - and shaped her tumultuous personal life. Written by a Hollywood insider and based on interviews with more than 140 of Streisand's friends, family, lovers, associates, and enemies - many of whom go on the record for the first time - Streisand takes you on a revelatory journey from her Brooklyn beginnings to the controversies surrounding her latest movie, The Mirror Has Two Faces. In between, we ...
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Overview

Streisand tells the story-behind-the-story for the first time, revealing the inner demons that have driven her career - and shaped her tumultuous personal life. Written by a Hollywood insider and based on interviews with more than 140 of Streisand's friends, family, lovers, associates, and enemies - many of whom go on the record for the first time - Streisand takes you on a revelatory journey from her Brooklyn beginnings to the controversies surrounding her latest movie, The Mirror Has Two Faces. In between, we come to know Barbra Streisand as never before. We enter her world of childhood angst, of unprecedented youthful ambition and glittering Broadway stardom at twenty-two. We learn what went into her extraordinary success as singer, screen actor, and director - and what went on in her tempestuous private life, from her first bruising teenage affair to her marriage to Elliott Gould and her romances with Omar Sharif, Jon Peters, Pierre Trudeau, Don Johnson, James Brolin, and others. We are given moving insight into her relationship with her only son, Jason, and her acceptance of his gay lifestyle; her complicated feelings toward her mother; her unusual and deeply felt connection to her goddaughter, Caleigh - the daughter she never had - and the lowdown on her high-profile political activism. Above all, we come to understand as never before the unique blend of talent, vulnerability, passion, and ambition that has made Barbra Streisand the enduring, fascinating star she is.

At age 54, Barbra Streisand remains on top after more than three decades in show business. How does she do it? What makes her tick? Anne Edwards' biography of this legendary performer at last gives fans the inside look they've been waiting for. Drawing on more than 100 interviews with Barbra's friends, family, lovers, and associates, Streisand: It Happens Only Once brings this American icon into sharp focus as never before. 32 pp. of photos. Author tour. Print ads. 100,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Veteran celeb biographer Edwards's life of Barbra Streisand is a sterling example of diva lit. The book is energized by the author's love/hate relationship with her subject. Streisand's well-known story is recounted in compelling and evocative detail, from her escape from an emotionally withholding mother, through her early stardom in Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly!, to her current status as film auteur and pop icon. Edwards (Vivien Leigh) portrays a performer convinced of her own star quality even as a beginnerstealing the Broadway show I Can Get It for You Wholesale in a small part and battling for control of her movies with veteran directors like William Wyler, Gene Kelly and Vincente Minnelli (and winning as often as not)and generally turning every song, performance and motion picture into an ode to herself. Streisand has not endeared herself to colleagues. Walter Matthau is quoted as calling her "a boa constrictor" and, in her acknowledgments, Edwards cites "over a hundred people" who spoke to her but did not want their names used. Throughout, Edwards mixes breathless awe at Streisand's talent and indomitable willpower with obvious contempt for what the author sees as the actress's narcissism, arrogance and lack of concern for others. Thus, Edwards can condemn "the extraordinary meanness of the press" only 20 pages after thumping Streisand for her "strikingly egotistical manner" in taking sole credit for The Prince of Tides. In the end, the book seems a lot like Streisand herself: many times far from lovable, but never less than fascinating. The book includes full listings of Streisand's film, recording, TV and theatrical credits, as well as photos, not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
As an actress, singer, and film director, Barbra Streisand arouses strong emotions. While some have scorned her as a prima donna and obsessive controller, critics acknowledge that Streisand has fought hard to acquire power and retain her vision in male-dominated Hollywood. Edwards, a prolific biographer of film legends (e.g., Shirley Temple: American Princess, LJ 9/1/88) is the latest to review the Streisand phenomenon. Aside from discussing Streisand's well-documented perfectionism and professional insecurities, she chronicles Streisand's unhappy early life with her mother and stepfather, her unremitting drive for success, her numerous passionate affairs, and her growing political concerns. Edwards, who interviewed many Streisand associates, is evenhanded in her critical judgments. However, the book is inflated with too many digressions, and errors occasionally appear (e.g., she mistakenly places Gary Cooper at a 1964 Broadway premiere, three years after his death). Minor flaws notwithstanding, this book will be a popular addition to public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/96.]-Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425164327
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 1.36 (d)

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